We’re very proud of The Lakes Free Range Egg Company – they produce and pack our eggs and have just received their Queens Award for Sustainable Development from Cumbria’s Lord Lieutenant on Friday. The occasion was even more special for staff at The Lakes, because it marked the start of their 21st birthday celebration.
It was earlier this year that the Queens Award office confirmed their award in recognition of their “outstanding sector leadership and influence”. In June, co-owners David and Helen Brass attended a formal reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH Prince Charles. Plans were also made for today’s official visit by Cumbria’s Lord Lieutenant Claire Hensman, Her Majesty The Queen’s designated representative.
The visit to the packing station was set to co-inside with The Lakes 21st birthday celebrations with producers and staff. David and Helen Brass said “We were delighted to be one of only eight companies in the UK to be recognised for sustainable development – a first in the UK egg industry.
“This award was only made possible because of the hard work and dedication of our staff who share our ethos to develop in a sustainable way. We also have to thank our producers for their support over the last twenty-one years. Receiving this accolade today, alongside so many of our staff, is a prestigious way to celebrate our coming of age.”
Youthful You feature on Lorraine focuses on eggs – Davina creates a French Omelette
This morning’s Lorraine show featured Davina McCall – how to make the perfect French Omelette.
Davina said “It’s literally just eggs and herbs” – Davina says three eggs are the trick in an omelette.
“Eggs are an amazing source of protein – a fantastic breakfast to have because there’s no sugar in them, going to keep you fuller for longer and you are not going to be snacking on those unhealthy snacks at 11 am in the morning.
“Look at the colour of the yolks. Since doing this book (Davina’s Kitchen Favourites), I have learned that eggs contain Selenium, Zinc and Biotin which is amazing as it helps you renew cells. I wouldn’t use them on my face, but eating them is fine!
Just add chives, parsley, tarragon. Delicious, nutritious, and Anti-aging – what’s not to love.
Try adding spinach and hot smoked salmon as a filling.
From inception they have always believed planting trees improves the welfare of free range hens. When they began, no industry standards existed, so they led the way. Over 157,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted on their ranges, optimising habitats for wildlife and biodiversity. All their producers follow the same model.
Always innovating, their packing station achieved carbon neutrality in 2016 – an industry first. David Brass is continuously involved in research to improve animal welfare and sustainable production methods and is also a Woodland Trust Ambassador. Benchmarking in the industry, The Lakes shares best practice with internationally recognised organisations as well as their producers.
Reflecting on news of their win, David and Helen Brass concluded “We have numerous awards for sustainability but see the Queens Awards for Enterprise as the very pinnacle of recognition and we are delighted to be the first in the egg industry to receive one. When we looked back at previous winners we saw just how exceptional this award is.
“This year, 237 Queen’s Awards were presented to UK Businesses – but only 8 were awarded for Sustainable Development, so we are in very esteemed company.
“This success is very much a team effort. We feel the award recognises the hard work, dedication and commitment of all our staff who have helped develop our business in such a sustainable way – we are immensely proud of them all.
“It has been hard work keeping the news secret, but we can now shout from the rooftops and share the celebrations with our staff, suppliers and customers. It’s a fantastic start to our 21st birthday year and a great boost that will make our coming of age celebrations even more special.”
The Lakes team is now preparing to receive a visit from Cumbria’s Lord Lieutenant Claire Hensman, Her Majesty The Queen’s designated representative. Later in the summer, David and Helen Brass will attend a formal reception at Buckingham Palace and plans are underway for celebrations with staff, suppliers and customers.
Claire has been voted the Penrith class Slimming World Woman of the Year twice and she is a fantastic advocate for those who have a lot to lose. Commenting on her success, Claire said “Andrea and the group have been so supportive from day one. Slimming World is about a healthy way of eating, it’s not about faddy diets and cabbage leaves. Staying to the group session has proved to be so important, at the start it gave me ideas for meals and has really helped keep me on plan and of course, eggs feature in the plan every week. It was so supportive to receive packs of the Laid With Love eggs – they’re a quick supper or breakfast when you don’t have a lot of time. Anyone interested in finding out more about Penrith Slimming World Classes at Castletown can call Andrea Brough on 0788 9719 443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our egg producers at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company go global, winning International gold at the Green Awards
We’re very proud of our egg producers!
David and Helen Brass from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) were unable to fly to Dubai for the final of the International Green World Awards. News came via email this week to confirm they won.
The awards are part of an international campaign to find the greenest companies, councils and communities. The Lakes won the UK Green Apple Award last year, after competing against 500 other nominations for the Environmental Best Practice Award. They wen t forward to represent the UK in Europe which they won in June, this qualified them for the International event.
The International Green World Awards have become one of the most prestigious recognition campaigns for environmental best practice. Representing the UK, The Lakes won gold in the agriculture category, with other global winners coming from as far as Turkey, South Korea and India.
David Brass, Chief Executive at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said, “This award was presented in recognition of our work on tree planting, our carbon neutral operations, ammonia reduction and combining significant environmental best practice in our food supply operation.”
From the outset the judging panel was struck by the way The Lakes makes agriculture a sustainable business proposition for small family farms. Feedback from the award organisers said, “The judges were particularly impressed by The Lakes achieving a carbon neutral first in the industry, as a result of using renewable energy and planting 600 acres of trees and shrubs.”
The Lakes is now a case study in The Green Handbook – the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice. The case study demonstrates that ‘developing a business with sustainable animal welfare and environmentally friendly free-range egg production does support disadvantaged rural economies’. Others around the world can learn from The Lakes’ success and follow their example.
Reflecting on their achievement, David and Helen Brass said “It’s gratifying to hear that our focus on long term environmental sustainability encourages others. 2017 is our twentieth anniversary, so winning this award is a nice way to end the year.
“It celebrates our belief that excellence in animal welfare and strong environmental provenance go hand in hand. This ethos has benefitted our hens as well as our flora and fauna. Our producers adopt the same approach which is very much appreciated by our customers too. We’ve always felt our model is replicable across the globe and can make a difference. Through our business operations, we aim to leave the world a better place.”
The International Green World Awards began in 1994 and are organised by The Green Organisation, an international, independent, non-political, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.
Laid with Love – helping British bakers contribute to the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Laid with Love brand of eggs from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) is helping British bakers create cakes for The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. The annual UK wide event organised by Macmillan Cancer Support takes place on Friday 29th September.
The start of the new series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ creates an autumn surge in baking which ties in nicely to the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ event organised to raise funds for Macmillan.
Helen Brass co-owner of The Lakes said, “We believe Laid With Love is the only UK egg brand that supports cancer research so we thought it would be very fitting to donate packs of eggs to people baking for Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. This year we have donated the free-range eggs to numerous groups, some out of county, but mainly in Cumbria.
“Working with Sue McDonald, Macmillan’s Fundraising Manager for Cumbria, we have sent eggs to Inglewood Junior School in Carlisle, Macmillan’s Information Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary and Barclays Bank in Penrith. Our girls attend Austin Friars School in Carlisle and their event always attracts a lot of parents, teachers and pupils so we sent Jane and Emily to school with a case of eggs too.”
Sue McDonald called in to ‘The Lakes’ at Stainton to collect the eggs on her way to meet the Macmillan volunteers and coffee morning hosts. Sue said, “We are very grateful to The Lakes for their generous donation. The Laid With Love eggs have super-yellow yolks and are ideal for baking. I’m really looking forward to eating some of the freshly made cakes on Friday.
“This is the 27th year of ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. It is our flagship event and this year we are hoping to take the total raised since it began, to over £200 million. This goal is well within sight as we have the perfect ingredients for a successful bake. The public love of #GBBO, volunteers love of baking and the best of British free range eggs donated by Laid With Love.”
Our producers love going back to school to help with eggucation! This summer they ensured the primary schoool pupils managed to land their egg astronauts at UCC Science Day. A record number of egg astronauts landed safely at Ullswater Community College (UCC) in Penrith this month – thanks to the careful preparation of parachutes and space capsules by primary school pupils from across Eden. The activity was part of the UCC Science Day Taster sessions which help primary school pupils get to know more about secondary school. Key ingredients for the experiments include eggs and parachutes which were provided by The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) and the Penrith Sainsbury’s store.
Around 370 Year 5 pupils from primary schools around Eden took part in the Science Taster days which give the youngsters chance to discover more about science and the school labs. Whilst the school hopes to encourage future applications for secondary school places, one of the key aims is to ignite a passion for science and exploring new ideas.
Science sessions included identifying ‘DNA’ in strawberries and creating a prototype shuttle that lands a scientist back to earth. The experiments use eggs to replicate an astronaut who is travelling home using a shuttle. Teams built their shuttles and used the parachutes in a test landing from the school balcony.
Head of Key Stage 3 Science and UCC Science Teacher Alex Ford, who organises the event, said “The egg astronaut topic is always a firm favourite with staff and pupils. This is the third time we have worked with The Lakes Free Range Egg Company and Sainsbury’s. They are very enthusiastic, coming along, getting involved with the project and making their own space capsule. We really appreciate their support and are grateful to The Lakes for providing us with a regular supply of free range eggs. Each year we assess the merits of the experiments and egg astronaut feedback is always fantastic so we’ve no plans to change it.”
Helen Brass from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We love to see young people inspired to learn new things and have chance to talk to them about eggs. This year we took part in the Science Taster on the same day as pupils from North Lakes Primary School, they were very passionate about their experiment and came up with some creative team names relating to eggs including The Yolkers and Team Chicken.
“Opportunities to spend time with local primary and secondary schools are important to ensure youngsters understand where their food comes from and this is the second time we’ve collaborated with Sainsbury’s on activity with North Lakes School.
“Last month a survey by the British Nutritional Foundation revealed some alarming answers from children aged 14 – 16 where 6% thought dairy cows produced eggs. Fortunately, living in a rural area, most children we speak to do know chickens lay eggs!”
Joining Helen Brass to take part at the Science Taster Day were Sarah Swan and Sue Sharman from Sainsbury’s. Together the trio formed ‘Team Lakesbury’s’ building an astronaut capsule which successfully landed intact. Sarah and Sue said “It was great to see the children really connect with the experiment. They had a wide choice of materials to work with, aiming to use as little as little as possible but still being able to successfully land their capsule without breaking their astronaut. Most eggs landed without a crack. This Taster Day is excellent as it gives children chance to build confidence about secondary school, learn about eggs and a key recycling message too.”
In an action packed week-long event, a total of 27 primary schools took part in the Science Taster Days.
The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) has just held their national awards ceremony at Drapers Hall in London, playing host to leading ecologists, environmental specialists and a select group of shortlisted finalists which included The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes).
Speaker at the ceremony was Baroness Young, Chair of The Woodland Trust who discussed implications of Brexit on UK wildlife law. She also highlighted the benefits that trees bring to the environment before presenting the CIEEM Corporate Achievement Award to The Lakes Free Range Egg Company.
The Lakes won the award in recognition of the wide reaching benefits their innovative tree planting schemes have brought to the natural environment, influencing their industry to plant more trees for the improved welfare for over 19.5 million hens, and for their continued development and research into maturing schemes with the Woodland Trust.
The Lakes case study featured in the award programme. It highlighted that over 150,000 trees have been planted over 600 acres of hen ranges, encouraging free range hens to roam further as well as enticing indigenous and often endangered wildlife to return to farms – these include species like Pipistrelle Bats, Barn Owls and Red Squirrels. One of the key features of the case study is The Lakes long term commitment to planting and research.
The Lakes is three years into a Woodland Trust five year extended ecological survey, aiming to identify the best way forward for future range planting strategies. This extended project is being organised by Paul Arkle, Farm Environmental Advisor with Cumbria Farm Environment Partnership (CFEP) who nominated The Lakes for the award. Paul has been working and supporting The Lakes on tree planting and range enrichment for the last twenty years, formerly with FWAG and now with CFEP.
Paul Arkle said “David and Helen have been very committed to range enrichment from day one and that dedication has reaped dividends, but not just for enriching the landscape and improved animal welfare. With two decades of experience, there’s a vital legacy of schemes at different stages, this is helping us gain a greater understanding of how schemes mature over time and how the flora and fauna develop.
“This Woodland Trust survey is only possible because of the long term working relationship our advisors have with The Lakes and their producers and results so far are very promising. Independent audits highlight 28 different bird species per farm (up to 38 in summer); six of these are species on the Red List (Tree Sparrow, Song Thrush, Lesser Redpoll, Yellow Hammer, Linnet and Starling). Half the farms now see Barn Owls and other endangered native species like Red Squirrels. Determining the biodiversity value of planting and developing ranges highlights the sustainability benefits, and others are already following in our planting footsteps.”
David and Helen Brass were keen to recognise that winning this award is the result of a strong collaboration and said “Paul Arkle is an integral part of our team – a twenty year collaboration, sharing the same values, supporting our producers and working with our customers and organisations like the Woodland Trust.
“Tree planting schemes on the free range hen ranges have presented some unique challenges, not least because of the strong foraging instinct and general curiosity of the hens! As well as better animal welfare there are other, very real and practical benefits for any free range egg producer. Trees planted around the hen sheds intercept ammonia emissions and particulates – helping to protect sensitive sites like nearby semi-natural woodland. They also help reduce nutrient runoff from the hen ranges and help to protect the water quality of streams and rivers.
“A farm without trees would be a poorer place. If I have to give any advice to producers it would be plant more trees, the benefits far outweigh taking part of your land and it makes you feel good to see them grow.”
Our producers at The Lakes Free Range Egg Co were delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Cumbria Horse Trial Events and were particularly pleased to welcome Sophie Johnson and her lovely horse Ernst to the area for the Novice Regional Final at Warwick Hall on 17th June.
Sophie is a close friend of our Sales Director, Bex and travelled with her mum all the way from Nottinghamshire to take part. Sophie took on the ride of Ernst at the end of 2016. At the time he had a reputation for hating ditches, water and anything scary! Through hard work and a different approach Sophie and Ernst are building a bond and earlier this season Sophie took him to Chatsworth where they finished 8th.
The event here at Warwick Hall represented a big step up for Ernst with an Intermediate dressage test, 1.25m show jumping and a very bold XC track to contend with. We are pleased to say he dug deep and jumped his heart out for Sophie with a brilliant double clear to finish 12th in very strong company. Well done Sophie and Ernst and we look forward to welcoming you back here in Cumbria again.
We’re proud of what our producers are doing for charity this week!
A team of twenty staff and family from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company are flocking to take part in the Gelt Gladiator Challenge – the first ‘mud challenge’ of the year in Cumbria. The Lakes team is raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) which provides free accommodation to families with children receiving treatment in hospital. Ronald McDonald House in Manchester is the closest to The Lakes, so they will be sending all donations to Manchester.
Teams from The Lakes regularly take part in CRUK Race For Life events, but this is the first time staff from right across the factory have joined together for an endurance challenge. The Gelt Gladiator event is in its third year, with 4,500 people and 400 teams having taken part in the past.
The Lakes team is taking part in the Sunday 3K fun event designed for all the family. It includes fifteen obstacles with names that include local landmarks like Hadrian’s Wall, Scafell Pike and Giant Haystacks, as well as more tortuous names like Sink or Swing, Great Balls, Shocker, Ice Plunge and Mud Bomb.
Helen Brass, joint owner of The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We’ve supported the Ronald McDonald House Charities for over a decade. They have fourteen ‘houses’ across the country that enable families with children in hospital to stay together in a “home from home”. In May 2012 Ronald McDonald House Manchester opened its doors, supporting families with children receiving treatment in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Neonatal Unit.
“There are 61 en-suite rooms and equipped with things any family would need including lounges, self-catering kitchens, play areas and laundry facilities. Ronald McDonald House Manchester is the nearest to our business and in 2016, the house helped 768 families stay close to their children in hospital. We decided at Christmas that Manchester is where we wanted to focus our fundraising.”
Little did the team know that just a month before the event, Manchester would be devastated by the Ariana Grande concert bomb leading to many young people needing hospital treatment.
Helen Brass commented “many of our staff have children who are the same age as those affected by the bomb, so raising money for Manchester House is even more poignant. McDonald’s have kindly supplied us with our t-shirts which are currently white, but by the finish line, the team they will be a sea of brown. The event is a great opportunity for us all to get together and make a difference too – bring on the mud.”
The event takes place on Sunday 11th June; anyone wishing to make a donation to The Lakes Team should contact Helen Brass on 01768 890 460.
Our producers at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, are always looking for ways to engage with the younger generation, encouraging them to think about where their food comes from, the benefits of free range eggs and the improved welfare of the hens that lay them.
The approach from programme makers for the BBC Children’s channel CBBC was a perfect opportunity to show how free range egg production works and how it makes a difference.
The Lakes featured in the fifth and final part of a series called Show Me What You’re Made Of. The programme films five children who work alongside people in the UK who make things they rely on in everyday life. This episode visited The Lakes Free Range Egg Company so children could see how free range eggs are produced and packed for the retailer shelves.
The Lakes owners Helen and David Brass worked alongside presenter Stacey Dooley to assess the performance of the children in a series of tasks. The programme began with a first test – which demonstrated to Helen that they could calmly and safely catch a hen.
The children learned that The Lakes have over 135,000 hens in 18 flocks that can wander outdoors and into the shelter of trees, so an obvious second test was to take the children outdoors. The task was to gather in one flock of hens for the evening, returning them to their night time house. The task normally takes two people ½ hour, but it took the 5 children over an hour to complete. They said it was harder than they imagined, but they did get organised in the end.
On day two the children gathered and packed eggs
The next test was to gather eggs that had been freshly laid. The machines were slowed down to help and they managed to gather 2,300 of their target 5,000 eggs.
The final task was to pack egg boxes coming off the factory lines. Again this was quite a challenge but the children did really well, packing the six crates with great speed and efficiency.
Back in the Boardroom, Stacey asked Helen which of the children she would be prepared to employ if they were 18. Helen was pleased to say all would be offered work – even Lucas, who would need extra supervision! Lucas beamed at the news.
The award for star employee went to Maddie – it was the first time she has received promotion during the series and Helen chose her because “she had come furthest on the journey.”
All the children found their visit of great interest and Tom commented “I’m going to open an egg with more passion next time!”
Parents were interviewed about how their children had changed and Lucas’ parents said they felt he had become more responsible and caring, other parents had similar comments.
David and Helen Brass who own The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We were pleased to be able to highlight free range egg production to such a young audience. CBBC’s core audience is primary school children aged 6 to 12-years-old and the beauty of a TV program like this is that if you miss it, you can watch it again on Catch Up or on the CBBC You Tube page. Around a quarter of their viewers watch programs on line at a later date – that’s huge.
“We spend time in our local primary schools, but Show Me What You’re Made Of enabled us to hit a much wider audience. Our schools are rural, so most have an understanding where food comes from, but Show Me What You’re Made Of will be watched by thousands of children from towns and cities, many of whom don’t really know the field to fork story.
“We really enjoyed the experience and learned a lot from the questions the youngsters asked. The fact that they went home and appreciated how much effort goes into getting their breakfast eggs on the table is also very rewarding.”
Four intrepid women are tourning the UK to raise money for Cancer Reseach UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. They’re travelling 1100 miles in 16 days in two Tuk Tuks (motorised three-wheeled rickshaws). Now if you’ve ever seen one, you’ll know they’re not very fast and there’s not much protection against the elements. We’re powering these fab four by making sure they have eggs for breakfast every day.
We’ve been following their progress as they ‘nipped’ up to Edinburgh, before heading south, stopping off to visit cancer centres and hospitals on a route that will take them around Scotland, England and into Wales. We’re proud to support them in their quest to raise £100,000 – and at around £80,000 so far, they’re well on their way. If you’d like to support their journey with a donation, visit the Beijing Biddies website.
We’re tickled pink! Healthy egg sales are helping in the fight against cancer, thanks to money donated from our ‘pink’ laid With Love® brand of eggs. Tesco shoppers putting Laid With Love® eggs into their trollies are helping raise a healthy sum for cancer research – the latest donation of £4,000 has been handed over to Cancer Research UK.
Laid with Love® free-range eggs from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company at Stainton, were originally launched in Cumbrian Tesco stores and have since been rolled out to a growing number of Tesco stores across the North West. The brand pledges to donate 2p per dozen to cancer research and the late st cheque for £4,000 was presented to Cancer Research UK at the Tesco Carlisle store.
Tesco Carlisle Store Manager Phil Pearson has always been a keen advocate of this egg brand, supporting it from the earliest launch days; Phil said “Laid With Love is a fantastic product; the eggs are produced locally, have a great taste and puts raising money for cancer research firmly on our shelves. Our staff is very much behind supporting cancer research too and we always see the Laid With Love team at the Cancer Research UK Race for Life.”
The Laid With Love® brand was created by The Lakes Free Range Egg Company at Stainton near Penrith; they work with local producers in and around Cumbria. The hens are fed on an enriched diet that includes Lutein (a Marigold extract), which is a natural anti-oxidant; research indicates positive health benefits of Lutein – fighting everything from cancer prevention to eyesight problems and aging.
David Brass Chief Executive at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We wanted to develop a brand that delivers on lots of levels, from ensuring the best ethical and environmental provenance to creating a really healthy, tasty egg, and going even further by supporting cancer research. Eggs have become a ‘superfood’, part of our everyday healthy diet – that means over 34 million eggs are now eaten each day. It’s very encouraging for Laid With Love because people are more likely to switch to a brand that donates to charity.”
The balance of donations to Cancer Research UK collected from the Tesco sales has grown again – this latest cheque takes the Tesco/Laid With Love® donation balance to £7,500.
Natasha Patel, Local Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research UK said “We would like to say a huge thank you to Laid With Love for their generous donation of £4,000, which will contribute towards our vital research that is helping to beat cancer sooner.”
Picture: Cancer Research UK Cumbrian representatives (Liz Tinkler, Helen Stobart and Edwina Sorkin) receive the £4,000 donation from Tesco Rosehill Store team Phil Pearson (Manager) and Kelly Crombie, with Helen Brass – Company Secretary of The Lakes Free Range Egg Co who produce the Laid With Love® eggs.
Commenting David Brass, Chief Executive Officer at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said: “As a family led business, to be shortlisted for Environmental Leadership alongside Blue Chip organisations like British Sugar, Siemens, The National Grid, Anglian Water Services and Wm Morrison’s is a huge achievement in itself.
“Our story began twenty years ago when, from day one, we planted trees to improve our hen ranges. We’ve always believed that excellence in animal welfare and environmental best practice go hand in hand, it’s something our free range hens demonstrate every day.
“Since then we have worked in partnership with customers like McDonald’s to scientifically prove planting trees is beneficial to hen welfare and we’ve influenced others to follow the same best practice. As well as enhancing our environment, our sustainability model also includes investment in technologies and processes to cut our carbon footprint. We’re proud to lead by example on the three E’s (ethical, environmental and economic), promoting a holistic approach to sustainability that has helped cut our carbon footprint to zero. It’s also something we’re keen to promote to the public on the packaging of our two brands – ‘The Lakes’ and ‘Laid With Love’.”
Chief Executive of Business in the Community, Amanda Mackenzie, said: “We want all businesses to be a force for good in the community, and being shortlisted means that The Lakes Free Range Egg Company can inspire many more companies to be part of the responsible business movement, so that together we can work for a fairer society and a more sustainable future.”
The winners of all ten categories, including the Responsible Business of the Year will be announced at the Responsible Business Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall on 4 July, in front of 1,200 business leaders. The headline sponsors of the 2017 Responsible Business Awards are Experian, Unilever, UPS, Aviva, Barclays, Fujistu, UBS, Unipart Group.
To find out more about Responsible Business Week 2017 visit www.bitc.org.uk/rbweek or search for the hashtag #RBweek.
Helen Campion, Events Manager at the Rheged Centre said “It’s lovely working with local companies like The Lakes Free Range Egg Company; we couldn’t run an event like this without such a strong partnership. Chicks hatching is something most people don’t get to see – myself included and it’s quite mesmerising to watch. We have thousands of people passing through the centre at Easter, the chick hatching is a really big draw, we see visitors coming time and time again to check on the chick progress. “
The Lakes Free Range Egg Company is based just down the road at Stainton, where they produce and pack around 1 million free range eggs every week. Keen to ensure they have the strongest, healthiest hens; The Lakes rear most of their own free range egg producing flocks, making them the ideal partner for the Rheged Centre.
The Lakes has won awards for animal welfare and environmental provenance and is always keen to promote their ethos to the public. David Brass, Chief Executive at The Lakes said “The Rheged Centre attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and they’re just across the road, so it makes them an ideal partner to help explain the sustainable food chain. The hatching unit is a great showcase opportunity for the public to find out what chick rearing and egg production is all about – perfect at Easter. And if it inspires more people to buy free range eggs, that’s a bonus.”
Last Easter the Rheged Centre had around twenty thousand visitors; numbers are likely to be just as high this year, with many more children expected to flock upstairs to see the chicks before the exhibit closes on 23rd April.
David Brass, Chief Executive Officer at The Lakes said “Laid With Love is a very ethical brand and has developed a loyal following. Consumers appreciate locally sourced products, they love the golden yellow yolks, and the fact we support research into cancer – something that touches most people at some point in their lives. Eggs continue to grow in popularity as part of a healthy diet – over 34 million eggs* are now eaten each day. That’s very encouraging for Laid With Love because research suggests consumers are more likely to switch to a brand that makes a charitable donation.”
Booths Home Baking Buyer Emily Burr said “Laid With LoveTM is a great locally sourced product with the added benefit of supporting cancer research. Customers are brand loyal; they enjoy eating the eggs and welcome the fact that Laid With Love eggs in their shopping basket means a contribution to a cancer charity.”
Natasha Patel, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Local Fundraising Manager said “Survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years and the work of Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of that progress. The donation from Laid with Love TM eggs will contribute to our research, which is helping to beat cancer sooner.”
Meeting at the Kendal Booths store, Jane Wilkinson from the Lakes Free Range Egg Company, Booths Buyer Emily Burr and Kendal Store Manager Mark Langstaff handed over the latest cheque payment of £2,400 to Jim Plenderleith, Chair of Kendal’s Cancer Research UK committee. It was at this presentation that Jane Wilkinson also confirmed the total raised to date in Booths was £10,000.
Showing video’s allowed the pupils to escape the classroom and venture onto a hen range, where they could see hens foraging under trees. This bird’s eye view of life as a free range hen made a great impression – as did seeing robots packing eggs in the factory.
Helen Brass, co-owner of The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “Visiting schools is a very important part of what we try to achieve in terms of educating the public about free range production and how we farm in a sustainable way.
Creating a pancake recipe leaflet
“For Pancake Day we created a recipe leaflet that uses leftovers for fillings – it’s just a simple and tasty way to encourage people to reduce food waste. Around 100 pupils went home with a new idea for making pancakes.”
At the end of the presentations ‘The Lakes’ team polled the pupils to find out which was their favourite way to eat eggs in the morning. More than 60% said scrambled eggs were their favourites. There were a number of children who said they had not tried eggs for breakfast, so Miss Kendall is arranging a scrambled egg cookery morning next week and The Lakes team are supplying the eggs.
The Lakes Free Range Egg Company visits several primary schools each year and hosts factory visits for secondary schools and colleges. To find out more about the company visit www.lakesfreerange.co.uk
Helen Brass, joint owner and Company Secretary of The Lakes Free Range Egg Company “We’ve visited Beaconside C of E School in the past to explain how eggs are produced, so it was nice to be able to go back and show the children new ways of reusing old egg boxes. We know our boxes are bio-degradable so the idea of planting them in the ground is a very simple way to demonstrate that too.”
The nursery pupils filled the boxes with bulbs and were eager to plant them in their school garden the following week. Nursery Teacher Miss Sarah Bowers said “It was a really interesting project for us and an exciting one for the children. It helped them develop sorting and counting skills and they learned about reusing and recycling too – it was fun discovering new ways to reuse packaging. The children are really looking forward to seeing the bulbs grow into tulips in the spring.”
Each pupil had a six pack egg box filled with tulip bulbs. Miss Bowers and her colleagues helped the children plant the bulbs on the next dry day, promising to send pictures to us in the spring, when the tulips are in full bloom.
“The Mane Event Ball was a huge success and we were delighted to present a new trophy for the Junior Champion (scoring most points), to 12 year old Freya Gaitskell, it’s very important to encourage the younger riders who are the grass roots of the future. SHe said she really liked the new Laid WIth Love/Lakes Free Range Egg Co ju7mps – which is always good to hear!”
One of the great things about Cumbria Horse Trials is that they give unaffiliated riders chance to take part and try out an affiliated course. It’s a stepping stone which, in the past, has been a barrier for many riders. Being able to sample what it’s like to take part in an affiliated BE event, means novice riders can gain confidence in the range of jumps. Three awards were dedicated to this category.
Cumbria Horse Trials Director Douglas Weymouth said “We have really enjoyed building up our events during the last ten years and now have around 1800 riders who compete on a regular basis at our BE events. We would not have been able to develop these without the help of our sponsors including The Lakes Free Range Egg Company who have supported us since we started. I remember their first jump had a wooden carved hen and a basket of eggs sat beside it. It often got its beak knocked off! Today they feature their egg brands on our show jumping and cross country fences – we’ve all moved forward a great deal in the last decade.”
We love to see young people getting to grips with new technology and learning about how it makes packing our eggs so much easier. Last week a group of A Level students from Keswick School visited the Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes). These lucky students from Keswick School had a very real lesson in technology at work. It’s the fourth time the school has visited with A Level students studying Systems and Controls but this year, they extended the opportunity to those studying Product Design too.
The Lakes Free Range Egg Company has always encouraged young people to look at agriculture and food production as a future career, so this visit also represented an opportunity to demonstrate that the food industry has a breadth of careers to explore.
Managing Director Mark Gaskin introduced the company and gave an overview of the volumes of egg collected and despatched across the country each day. Mark also explained how the short lead times mean the factory is operational six days a week and discussed the operational challenges of meeting seasonal demand from hens that lay a consistent number of eggs.
Egg consumption has increased, with the UK population consuming over 16 billion eggs in 2015.* Explaining the growth in sales to the students, Mark said “year on year egg sales continue to rise which is good news for the industry. Eggs now feature strongly at breakfast time and people recognise their value as a premium protein food. Our job is to predict far enough ahead to have enough hens laying eggs at the right time. Eggs are popular all year round, but the spike in logistics comes in December – that’s when planning, systems and logistics really make a difference.”
Keen to see the factory in operation, the students and teachers donned their protective clothing and were taken for a tour by Mark and Factory Manager Maria Harris. Students learned that each pallet delivered in from farms contains 8,640 eggs – and they only take only 5 minutes to grade by machine.
Spending time with students with a technical understanding was a treat for factory Engineer Anton Parks who ran through the mechanical processes, lifting the lid on how the systems and controls worked.
Student Ellie Parkinson said “what impressed me most was the technology that detected a crack in an egg and monitored it the whole way through the process.” All the students agreed the scale of the operation was far greater than they expected.
Physics and Design Technology teacher Ms Orla O’Donnell said “an egg has the smartest packaging of all; it’s sterile, breathable, strong, protective and doesn’t need washing. The technology used at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company is also very leading edge and innovative. It’s not just the technology and robots in the factory; it goes through their whole process, from recycling rainwater to creating their own energy and becoming the first egg packing factory in the UK to become carbon neutral.
I’ve been visiting for four years and every time there’s a new initiative or innovation. Our students found it very enlightening and who knows, we may find one of them working in the food industry in the future.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the innovative technologies used at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company can find out more by visiting their website www.lakesfreerange.co.uk
David and Helen Brass who own and run the Lakes Free Range Egg Company have supported the Carlisle Race For Life since 2011 when launching their ‘Laid With Love’ free range egg brand that supports cancer research. Helen and her daughters have taken part in the CRUK Race for Life every year, always aiming to beat previous times or running as a two legged race. They have encouraged staff to join them – with colleagues Helen Kent and Jane Edmond taking part for the first time last year, and they’re hooked.
The addition of a Pretty Muddy Race this year attracted the attention of two new ‘Lakes’ team members, with Philippa Dawson Coates and QA Manager Linda Birrell joining the Brass youngsters. They all really enjoyed getting pretty muddy during the race.
Helen Brass, Helen Kent and Jane Edmond took part in the Sunday event at a fast paced walk that beat their previous time.
Watching the events unfold Helen Brass said “Pretty Muddy was just that – wet and dirty but every competitor had a smile on their face – a great way to keep the event fresh and introduce new people to ‘Race for Life’. It’s great to think we have a team taking part both days and it was nice to keep in touch with the Tesco Carlisle team who also had competitors in each event.
Our Laid With Love brand donates 2p per dozen to cancer research, but its events like this that really brings us together and reminds us what we want to achieve. We’re hoping the final total raised exceeds previous donations – muddy fingers crossed.
To find out more about Laid With Love brand, call the Lakes Free Range Egg Company on 01768 890 460.
Over 440 Year 5 pupils from 26 primary schools around Eden visited UCC, having the opportunity to discover more about science, the school and their labs. The hope is to encourage future applications for secondary school places and ignite a passion for science. The students took part in two experiments based around a ‘space explorer’ theme, which this year has more poignancy with the recent galactic adventures of Major Tim Peake
Science Taster Week was also a ‘back to school’ moment for Alison Morton from Sainsbury’s and Helen Brass Co-owner and Company Secretary at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company. Both businesses collaborated to provide the ingredients and support for the science days, and we were pleased to see Helen wearing her Laid With Love polo shirt.
Science sessions included identifying ‘DNA’ in strawberries and creating a prototype shuttle that would land scientists on the planet. The experiments use eggs to replicate an astronaut who is travelling back to earth using a shuttle. Teams built a shuttle and parachute using as little material as possible, but still needing to provide a soft and safe landing for the astronaut when launched towards earth from the school balcony!
As well as supplying the ingredients, Helen Brass and Alison Morton took part, naming their team the ‘Lakesbury’s Free Rangers’ and joined pupils from Stainton C of E School at the launch pad. Helen Brass said “It was lovely to see so many youngsters getting inspired. It was nice to work alongside pupils from our village – they helped us plant trees last autumn.
“The children really connected with this science experiment, mainly because Mr Davidson, Head of Chemistry, was so enthusiastic, but also because the coverage of Major Tim Peake returning from outer space has had many school children enthralled. He travelled at 17,000 mph but we know our egg astronauts fell to earth a lot slower.”
Alison Morton from Sainsbury’s said “The session was well thought out; pupils had various choices of lightweight materials, the aim was to be efficient and economical with material, wasting as little as possible – a good lesson for recycling and sustainability. Sainsbury’s core values include respect for our environment so we constantly look at packaging and minimising waste in our quest to be the greenest retailer. In school today, the proof of the ‘minimal packaging’ success was in the astronaut launches; the teams did well – over 50% of the egg astronauts survived the landing.”
Continuing with the sustainability theme, The Lakes and Sainsbury’s provided everyone with a recipe leaflet highlighting on how to cook an easy frittata – making the most of leftovers and eggs.
Head of Key Stage 3 Science and UCC Science Teacher Alex Ford, who organises the event, said “This is the second time we have worked with The Lakes Free Range Egg Company and Sainsbury’s, we appreciate their support and are grateful to the Lakes for providing us with a free supply of eggs. We still have their sustainability model displayed on the wall in the science lab from last time and it is often brought into discussions.
Chatting to Helen it’s evident that there are numerous links and opportunities. They’re a great company to help demonstrate how economics, science, and sustainability all work together in business, even in areas like IT where we could explore how advanced technology makes the egg collection and packing process more efficient. A field trip may be in order.”
In total there were 26 primary schools, 444 primary pupils, the primary staff and three external adults taking part in Science Taster Days in an action packed six day event.
“We were more than happy to keep up the encouragement – especially when a number of the squad are either from Stainton or attend school here. The new strip features Henrietta who is our Laid With Love mascot and the girls look fantastic running down the pitch during training and tournaments.
“As well as providing kit for the team, we’re also keen to give them support with information on healthy eating. We’ve given them all a pack of Laid With Love eggs and a couple of recipe booklets produced by the British Egg Industry Council. #eggcentric is packed with ideas to include eggs as part of a main meal, and the ‘Eggs For Action’ booklet originally produced for the London 2012 Olympic Games, is packed with lots of healthy recipes and practical advice for exercise. We hope Mums will help them get cooking at the weekend.”
The Penrith AFC Angels squad has expanded to almost thirty girls. At training nights the club welcomes children aged from four upwards and they can often field two teams of under eights. The girls are all growing up so the club is already ‘developing talent’ for their under 9 squad too.
Kelly Pearson, Coach for Penrith AFC Angels said “It’s a real boost for the team to have the Lakes Free Range Egg Company as our under 8 team sponsor, especially when they’re being so pro-active in their healthy eating focus. The girls love their Laid With Love shirts and getting to know Henrietta. And it’s nice to be associated with a local brand that aims to make a difference.”
The Laid With Love brand places great emphasis on sustainability and animal welfare. Hens are fed on a lutein rich diet, creating naturally yellower yolks and the company also makes a contribution to cancer research for every box of Laid With Love eggs sold.
Sue Robson, Newton Rigg’s Programme Manager brought along students from the City and Guilds ‘Skills for Working Life – Entry Level 2’ Diploma course. The visit to ‘The Lakes’ aimed to show the similarities and contrasts between domestic and commercial production.
The students were welcomed by Mark Gaskin, Managing Director at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company, who then spent the morning showing the visitors around the factory. Mark explained how they work with a number of small family farms from Cumbria, Lancashire and Scotland, to produce free range eggs for customers across the UK. In total they nearly a million hens producing barn, free range and organic eggs, in great contrast to the 50 poultry currently at the college.
The tour began at the point the eggs are delivered in to the factory and continued right through the grading and packing process, giving students a real insight into how eggs make it onto retail shelves. They were fascinated to hear that the number printed on the egg is a code that can trace the egg back to the farm on which it was laid, but it was the grading machine and the way the system moved eggs around the factory that intrigued them most, stimulating questions all the way round.
Sue Robson, Programme Manager said “Our students were engrossed by the whole operation, asking questions on everything from the life of their hens and the size of eggs, right through to their recycled packaging. It’s the second time I’ve brought students here and I’ve learned more again on this visit. Talking to our students back at the college, it was the robots and how the system guides eggs to the right size boxes that made a huge impression on some, but for others, it was the grading process that was remembered most. We always know how well a visit is going by the level of interaction, and there were certainly plenty of questions for Mark to answer!”
Once the visit around the factory was completed, the students sat and discussed how eggs are promoted. The college designs their own egg packaging, so they were keen to hear what the egg industry is doing to promote eggs. Jane Wilkinson the Sales and Marketing Director at ‘The Lakes’ explained how the British Egg Industry has launched a campaign called #eggcentric which aims to encourage more people to use eggs as an ingredient as part of a main meal. The students were all given a copy of the #eggcentric recipe book so they could try recipes at home.
Commenting on their visit Mark Gaskin said “It was a real pleasure to show these students around the factory. They were very interested, eager to learn and quick to pick up on the fact that the eggs are all graded into many different sets of packaging. It’s important to teach where our food comes from and how to make a meal from it, so we’re always pleased to welcome students. They left with a copy of the new #eggcentric recipe book so we hope they’ll try new dishes with their family, although according to one student, the best way to eat an egg is always scrambled. I can’t disagree.”
The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) produces our Laid With Love eggs. They have also provided what has proved to be a star attraction at the Rheged Centre near Penrith this Easter. ‘The Lakes’ installed incubators for soon to hatch eggs and a heated chick run for the new arrivals. Carefully planned to hatch one a day during the Easter holidays the chicks have helped make The Rheged Centre a destination visit for the holidays.
The Lakes Free Range Egg Company has been working with Rebecca Skelton, Events Manager at The Rheged Centre during the Easter holidays to enhance the visitor experience. Their vision was to create a fun and entertaining way to create more interest in the food chain – especially focusing on eggs. For the past few years the team has refined what they do, in order for visitors to see more and learn more about chick and egg production.
Rebecca Skelton, Events Manager at The Rheged Centre said “It’s lovely working with local companies like the Lakes Free Range Egg team at Stainton. We have been in partnership for 3 years now and we love seeing the chicks hatch each day. It’s always so popular; children come in their crowds to see the incubators and eggs and come back time and time again to see them hatch as chicks, they’ve always got lots of questions and its great fun to watch. We work hard to try and ensure there is at least one new chick hatched each day during the holiday period.”
With egg packing station just down the road, the Lakes team are able to call in to Rheged on a daily basis to check the chicks and hatching progress. Something they are well qualified to do. 95% of their free range egg producing flocks start life as day old chicks reared by sister company Performance Pullets, ensuring their hens start life as healthy as possible.
The Lakes Free Rang Egg Company has won awards for animal welfare and environmental provenance and are always keen to promote their ethos to the public. Roger Gill, Head of Agriculture at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company said “We like to support Cumbrian businesses and this is on our doorstep. As a key visitor attraction in Cumbria, the hatching unit is a great showcase opportunity for the public to find out what chick rearing and egg production is all about – perfect at Easter. And if it inspires more people to buy free range eggs, that’s a bonus.”
During the two week Easter holidays, it is anticipated there will be around twenty thousand visitors at the Rheged Centre, most of whom will flock upstairs to see the chicks.
Rheged is running a competition to name a chick – it runs until April 8th when the winner of a £10 voucher will be announced.
To celebrate British Egg Week (5th – 11th October), the Lakes Free Range Egg Company (the Lakes) joined the Slimming World Penrith group for a day, giving away free range eggs and working with Slimming World Consultant Andrea Brough to inspire members with egg recipes.
Having heard the Slimming World success stories from staff and producers who are members, the Lakes Free Range Egg Company decided to support Slimming World members during British Egg Week. Keen to encourage greater egg consumption, the Lakes team approached Andrea Brough to see how they could tie in to celebrate #BritishEggWeek. Andrea looked up some of the most popular egg recipes on the Slimming World website and took them to discuss in her groups; the Lakes Free Range Egg Company also came along to the meetings, providing free eggs for everyone and keen to hear which recipes members liked making most.
The Lakes Transport Manager Ian Collingwood arrived at the Monday morning group with cases of eggs, giving members a choice between their two key brands ‘the Lakes Organic’ and ‘Laid With Love’.
Ian has lost almost three and a half stone since joining Slimming World and knows members are keen advocates of eggs, he said “members know eggs keep you fuller for longer and are very nutritious so we’re not trying to convert people as they already understand the health benefits. What we wanted to do was inspire people to try new recipes and use eggs in different ways.
“We got great feedback at the meetings and have added their favourite recipe (Quick Quiche) to our Laid With Love website. It’s easy to cook and creates a very cost effective meal– and it’s a great source of protein.”
The popularity and success of the Slimming World ‘Healthy Eating Plan’ is evident in the number of people attending and the weight losses recorded each week. Slimmingworld Consultant Andrea Brough said “This Monday we had 170 members with a combined weight loss of 200 lbs. Eggs are a staple part of our eating plan and are classed as ‘free’ so are often eaten just as a snack. They are an essential ingredient and help make quick and easy fast food suppers too. It was lovely to see Ian at our morning group – he is usually a Wednesday night member with my colleague Caroline Rogerson.”
“We were delighted to work with the Lakes – it’s easy to promote eggs when they are such a staple part of our daily diet, we’re also very grateful for their generous supply of eggs – and it’s good to know they were all free range.”
A recent OnePoll survey highlights that 80% of UK shoppers regularly buy free range eggs, with two thirds choosing free range because they believe it is better for the hens. The Quick Quiche is easy to make and can be found at www.laidwithlove.co.uk/quick-quiche-from-slimmingworld
There’s a sponsorship bonus for Cancer Research UK, thanks to two members of staff at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes). Helen Kent and Jane Edmond took part in this summer’s Race for Life at Carlisle, collecting sponsorship from friends and family. Recognising their achievement, ‘The Lakes’ matched what they raised in sponsorship which meant a final team tally of £800 raised for the Cancer Research UK Race for Life.
David and Helen Brass, owners of the Lakes Free Range Egg Company have been committed to the Carlisle Race For Life event since launching their Laid With Love brand five years ago, with Helen and her daughters taking part every year. This year they were joined by Helen Kent and Jane Edmond who both work in the offices at The Lakes.
The team of ‘pink ladies’ took part in the Carlisle 5K Race For Life, with Helen Brass beating her previous personal best and the young Brasses running the distance quicker than ever. Jane Edmond and Helen Kent enjoyed the fast paced walk and were impressed at the level of fun and encouragement from everyone taking part.
Commenting on the day Helen Brass said “It’s always a fantastic atmosphere, and quite emotional when you read the backs of the shirts people wear. This year there was a Reflection Board for people to leave messages and thoughts – it was very powerful and motivating and acts as a poignant reminder as to why we all take part. It was great to have Helen and Jane with us, it created a real team spirit and they did really well with their sponsorship.
“Our Laid With Love brand donates 2p per dozen to cancer research, but its events like this that really bring us all together. Matching what Helen and Jane raised seemed a good way to say thanks for their support at work and for getting involved in what we do, it also means more donations for Cancer Research UK.”
Staff and shoppers at Booths supermarket are tickled pink by a £3000 cheque donation to Cancer Research UK, all thanks to a healthy household staple packed in pink boxes. The Laid With LoveTM brand of free range eggs makes a donation to cancer research for every dozen eggs sold. The product was first launched in Booths stores and has gained a loyal customer following in the North West, helping accrue charitable donations. This latest cheque to Cancer Research UK was presented at the Booths Garstang store.
The Laid With LoveTM brand was developed by The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) who work closely with local producers in Cumbria and North Lancashire. Renowned for allowing their flocks to wander freely in tree covered ranges, they wanted to create a brand with something extra; a super healthy egg with an extra yellow yolk and one that will make a difference to consumers.
David Brass, Chief Executive Officer at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company explains how the brand was developed “Marigold has been used in medicine for centuries so we feed our hens on a naturally enriched diet that includes Lutein (a Marigold extract), which research suggests has real health benefits, it also makes the egg yolks extra golden yellow. We wanted to offer more than the promise of a ‘henriched’ yellow yolk and striking packaging, so we’ve committed to raising as much money as possible to support cancer research. It’s something that touches most people at some point, so we felt consumers would relate to the cause.”
Committed to using local producers, Booths first introduced Laid With LoveTM when they opened their Penrith store, just 3 miles from ‘The Lakes’ packing centre; it has now been rolled out across all Booths stores and a healthy balance of donations continues to be collected.
Booths Buyer Keith Parkinson said “Laid With LoveTM is a great locally sourced product with the added benefit of supporting a great cause in a very simple yet effective way. Customers are brand loyal; they enjoy eating the eggs and welcome the fact that Laid With Love eggs in their shopping basket means a contribution to cancer research.”
Commenting on this latest cheque Natasha Patel, CRUK Local Fundraising Manager said “It’s alarming to think that one in two people are being diagnosed with cancer at some point, which means research will make an even greater impact on people’s lives. We rely entirely on the generosity of supporters for funding so are delighted to benefit from the relationship between Booths and the Lakes Free Range Egg Company, it’s good to see that a healthy product like Laid with Love TM eggs has been able to provide yet another valuable contribution to help fund our research.”
Booths Buyer Keith Parkinson and Garstang Store Manager Aimee Strong met Jane Wilkinson from the Lakes Free Range Egg Company to hand over the latest cheque payment of £3,000 to CRUK. You can find out more about the Laid With Love brand at www.laidwithlove.co.uk